There is nothing like a face to face meeting – it gives you a chance to get to know people, understand them and truly appreciate how you can work together. I am a convert, a believer and a zealot, in my opinion all business of any reasonable size should be done face to face… which is why I was utterly stumped a couple of weeks ago.
We are currently in discussion with a couple of developers for a new look website. For various reasons it is a little complex so we weren’t just looking for an off the shelf scheme. One company in particular came highly rated, their portfolio was exceptional, their ideas interesting and their prices within budget. The next stage was clear to me – let’s meet to discuss the details, brainstorm the design and move forward.
Apparently that was an unusual request and the answer was no! They apologised and said they didn’t want to appear arrogant but they don’t have time to go out and meet clients. If however, I really wanted, I could go to THEIR office.
Well, for a start, yes they did appear arrogant. Next, if I am not considered worthy of a meeting , surely my business will be of no consequence to them and finally… and this is what really got me! Our office is only about 20 minutes from theirs, the fuel and time would have been negligible compared to the contract value. I know I could have taken the high ground and chosen to go to their office but by that point I had lost allfaith in them as a supplier and started talking to the competition.
Surely, now more than ever we need to be improving customer service, talking to our clients and understanding their needs. By meeting one simple requirement – my need to meet face to face they would have made a sale. Instead they have earned my contempt!
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